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Organizing Homeschool Area????

Moms View Message Board: Get Organized: Organizing Homeschool Area????
By Loving2 on Monday, February 18, 2002 - 06:43 pm:

I'm getting there.....Will soon be there....Any ideas, tips, resources for getting all the stuff organized. Right now it's all in plastic bins which just isn't working---too hard to find anything.

I don't have a lot, but it's more than enough if you know what I mean. Art supplies, craft projects, my books, his books, workbooks & worksheets, ideas, paper, paper, paper, etc. And it needs to be kept out of the baby's reach too!

Also any ideas for table set up? I find it hard to sit at a table his height, he of course is uncomfortable sitting at my table height. Is there something simple I'm missing?

If it helps, we do preschool stuff (for Conor, age 4), we spend at least an hour 3 days a week and I plan a month in advance but waste time getting it together at the last minute. Hellllllllppppppppppp :)

By Nancy on Monday, February 18, 2002 - 11:01 pm:

Susan -- You are doing preschool homeschooling? I'm interested in what you are doing. I do a lot of teaching throughout the day with Taylor, but I'd like to get more organized.

By Barbara on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 01:49 am:

ah ha! finally a question that is up my alley!

we have a school room but hardly ever use it for such....70% of our school is done on the couch and 20% at the kitchen table and the rest wherever we land....the car the bathtub, the porch get the idea! :)
So our school travels and so I have four organizational secrets
1. The tackle box
2. the book shelves
3. the school closet
4.three hole punch and 3 ring binders

First the tackle box...or you can use a small tool box. find one that holds pencils, a ruler, glue, scissors,crayons and any other basic school supplies--flash cards play money a couple of cassettes --the things you will use daily! the reason I use a tackle box is because they LATCH better than regular school boxes and this is important they last longer too! I have one that is 15 years old. Get one that has little compartments in it--things will stay neater.

2. The book shelves---> be warned book multiply and homeschool families never have enough shelves space. Now for preschool books I like using those things that wal mart and staple sell to store magazines in....they cost like 3$ a piece are in bright colors and are usually cut diagonal and can store a whole years worth of magazines. Label them on the outside....Phonics books, Math, Science Health etc. The reason I like these is because you can store different size books in a neat space. then come time for math you can tell your child get the math box it is red and all your math books are in one place. You can store flashcards and manipulatives right in the box! A whole years curriclum for the younger grades will fit in 3-5 of these boxes and they look cute on a shelf! As my kids aged and we no longer needed them the kids took them and decorated them with stickers and store papers, magazines and art work in them. then when Gramma comes Faith can grab her box and show Gramma everything she is working on...but the size and shape look neat on a shelf!

3. The school closet--this needs to be a closet with a lock or a latch so only mom has access. Now in here I store the goodies....Todd put shelves in the closet from floor to ceiling--->I measured the shelves and bough rubbermaid containers that fit perfectly onto 3 of the shlves like drawers a close friend actually put a dresser in her closet and shelves on up!
The first thing that goes in this closet is art this will vary for preschool but my 6 art drawers
1. Paint--acrylics, water colors, tempra
2. Colors, craypas, pastels crayons
3. rubber stamping supplies
4. scrapbooking material, cookie cutters and stencils
5. papers--I have about 20 different kinds of paper
6 odds and ends--paper towel rolls, old socks, things that we use to create out of! you name it I collect it!

then I have 3 drawer for school supplies--I buy thease in bulk during clearance sales and pass them out as needed this is what I have in there tonight, pens every color, pencils, rulers several sizes notebooks, folders, a couple of calculators--bought for $1, pencil cases, stickers and odds and end art supplies bottle of glue, boxes of crayons, compass

then I have hanging on a hook, book bags stored one inside of the other....we grab these for the library. there is one empty shelf in the closet and this is where we store the library books between visits...that way I do not get them mixed up with our collection of books.

The other shelves hold our future curriculum--the stuff I am in the process of ordering for next year..that way I can 1. Make sure it all arrives and is what I wanted and 2. the kids don't destroy it before we use it. :) I also have a shelf space for the VCR, and the video collection, my overhead projector is in here, my camera is in here, the homeschool support group material is in here and any thing I want total control over is in here! there are also a few special toys in here that are only played with on special keeping this closet latched it stays neat and when we have time to do art the supplies are already in just a moment. Since we do the majority of school in the LR and kitchen this closet is in the dining nook! so its handy to our work space but if we decide to go outside and paint the tree we can easily gather the box we need and haul it outside!

Now I have no idea of the law in Colorado but in Illinois we are considered a private school so I act like just that and I keep best investment is a three hole punch and a large binder for each year of school....the kids decorate their binders each year...Sarah made padded covers for everyone this year! Now, not sure if you need to save something? punch and slip it into your binder, take a picture add it to your binder, go on a field trip punch the flyer and add it in there, read an interesting article...stick it in the binder. About 3 times a year go thru the binder and sort out what isn't both good and bad papers(samples)at the end of the year, label the binder and you have a record of everything you did that year. I put their permanent files in a three ring binder also and this is ongoing....Sarah has samples from all 11 years, pictures, report cards--if you keep them, her attendance records and other important records....if she goes to college I will use this to make her transcript. Plus it is fascinating to look back thru her 11 years at homeschool!

Now this is just a tip of the iceberg but should give you a few places to start. Instead of purchasing a desk--kids don't really like them I would purchase a table and chair set. but all 5 of my kids learned to write by kneeling at the coffee table...they preferred it and hey if it ain't broken why fix it! They all sit at the kithen table now for handwriting and I can read all their writing! so do what feels comfortable to you and Connor!

Now my situation is a little different but I have a three ring binder that the kids affectionately call my brain!

in here I have the weeks lessons plans on two sheets so when the book is open I can see the whole week.

Sarah is written in purple felt tip
Catherine in Pink felt tip
Grace in Green felt tip
Ethan in Blue felt tip
Faith in Orange felt tipthis is so they can see at a glance what they are supposed to be doing. If a few kids are doing the same thing I underline it in the color of those involved.I always write in black ink.

My dinner menus are planned right on this page so I can see that say tommmorrow while I am teaching algebra I need to peel and slice 3 pounds of carrots, this helps me make sure everything gets done.

Other things in the notebook
telephone lists
study sheets for the kids--spelling tests, times tables memorazation sheets, test to be given that week!
any thing I may need some time during the week
each sunday during planning time I take the old stuff out of the notebooka nd file in the appriprate box then I oput my new plans, and list in the binder this binder goes every where with me. It has a weeks calendar, things to buy list menu plan, grocery list, housekeeping charts, chore charts, and my 15 minutes to kill list! I also have a section for the support group in there so that I have it ready if a family calls!

By Loving2 on Friday, March 1, 2002 - 05:35 pm:

Oh Barb you are amazing! That's just what I needed :) You've given me some great tips and my head is buzzing! Dh has agreed to me using a whole room for my scrapbooking & crafts and for what I call "schoolwork". As soon as I get the room cleared out I'm going to get busy :) Thanks so much Barb; I've printed this out, it's so great.

Nancy, I'll e-mail you sometime soon & let you know what I do. It's not complicated :)

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